Wednesday, 8 August 2018

A Disagreement With The Death Guard

Sivar Rotlung, Lord of Contagion looked at the vid viewer screen that showed the settlement of Colebuck situated in the Scroxix hills in Gremthorpe, planet Scargill. The raiding force at his disposal were deployed aboard his ship The Rancid Destroyer ready to transport down. Visions of spreading pestilence and woe upon the sandy soil of Scargill had been frequent in his seldom needed sleep but Sivar was well aware the Father Nurgle spoke to his favoured children through fevered dreams. He knew that great portentous events were in the offing on this prosperous Imperial planet and Nurgle himself wanted a pustulent foothold on the planet. 



"Sergeant Harker, that does not seem to be regulation uniform."
"I know captain, I was at a fancy dress party last night and didn't have time to change."
"Carry on, sergeant!".




Hello. I'm here today to talk to you about oral hygiene. Well, not really but the battle report I'm about to relay to you has a crowd of people who are the antithesis of teeth brushing. The Vectorium of the Gurgling Soulpox is the name of Dylan's Death Guard army and they tried to do horribly contagious things to a section of the Scargill Planetary Defense Force, who bear a striking resemblance to the Krablokistan 47th. The game is a 1850 point battle with an army that I had originally intended to be the force that would be the first meaningful conflict between humans and necrons in 'The Scargill Cleansing'.

My army is taken from the Astra Militarum book using the Catachan regimental doctrine. They consist of:

Battalion Detachment + 5 CP (90 PL, 1852 points)

HQ;
Balto Krudditch; Company Commander, Grand Strategist, Kurov's Aquilla, Plasma Pistol, Power Sword.
Revs Cantalope; Tank Commander, Leman Russ Demolisher.
Vim Ajax; Primaris Psyker, Smite, Nightshroud, Psychic Barrier.

Troops;
Squad Fang; plasma gun.
Squad Stinger; Meltagun, Missile Launcher, Boltgun for sergeant.
Squad Talon; Meltagun, Missile Launcher, Boltpistol for sergeant.,

Elites;
Chuck Nimrod; platoon commander, plasma pistol, powerfist.
Ratlings x 10
Sergeant Harker
Special Waepons Squad 3 x flamers.
Squad Cutter; Veterans, heavy flamer, 3 x Meltaguns, Vox caster.
Squad Vicious; Veterans, heavy flamer, 3 x Plasmaguns, Plasma pistol for sergeant.

Fast Attack;
Hellhound; Heavy Flamer, Track Guards

Heavy Support;
Heavy Weapons Squad; 3 x Autocannon
Heavy Weapons Squad; 3 x Heavy Bolter
Leman Russ Battle Tanks; Battlecannon, Lascannon, Plasma Cannon, Stormbolter x 2.

Dedicated Transport;
Chimera; 2x Heavy Flamer, Storm Bolter, Track Guards
Chimera Heavy Flamer, Heavy Bolter, Storm Bolter, Track Guards.


Battalion Detachment +5CP (Chaos - Death Guard) [98 PL, 1845pts] 

HQ;
Sivar Rotlung; Lord of Contagion :  Tainted Regeneration, Manreaper, Warlord
Kryptus Fowl; Malignant Plaguecaster :  Plague Wind, 5. Putrescent Vitality

Troops;
Chaos Cultists;. 8x Chaos Cultist Autogun, Heavy stubber
The Rotted Souls; Plague Marines: Icon of Despair,. Plague Champion: Plaguesword, Plasma gun, Power fist, Plasma gun,Blight launcher
The Festering Souls; Plague Marines : Icon of Despair, Plague Champion: Boltgun, Plaguesword, Plasma gun, Meltagun
 20x Poxwalker

 Elites;
Jurant Gut Tearer; Biologus Putrifier
The Reaving Rot; Blightlord Terminators; Bubotic Axe x3, Combi-melta x 3, Reaper Autocannon, Flail of Corruption, Balesword for Sergeant.
Helbrute: Multi-melta,. Helbrute fist: Heavy flamer

Heavy Support;
Chaos Predator: Twin lascannon,. Two lascannons: 2x Lascannon
Lungspit; Plagueburst Crawler: 2x Entropy cannon, Rothail volley gun

Dedicated Transport;
Chaos Rhino: Combi-bolter, Havoc launcher
Chaos Rhino : Combi-bolter, Havoc launcher


Now the astute among you will notice that there is a 7 point difference in the army lists. the even more astute among you will notice I have one (1) Vox caster in my army, this is not a typo, just me paying 5 points for a 180% useless item as you need at least two to properly use them.

Set Up And Such

The table terrain didn't allow me to place all my models 6" away from the sergeant Harker model so I had to improvise. Sadly this left 2 Leman Russ outside his bubble of rerolling ones, but I think I managed to get plenty of other troops inside the circle of trust. One thing that I did do was place my unit of Ratlings in a building next to the Nurgle army, not sure how wise this generally is, as if I don't win the first turn they will very likely be giving First Blood to the enemy with a half decent move then assault. In this case, I got lucky and won first turn.

The ratlings in question, menace the Nurgle line.

Dylan's force left to right, Plagueburst Crawler, Chaos Rhino, Cultists (holding objective 2), Chaos Rhino, Poxwalkers, Maulerfiend, Predator. Both Rhinos have Plague Marines in them and quite a lot of Blightlord Terminators are sitting /standing in their teleportarium cubicles awaiting ejaculation onto the table.

From left to right squad Stinger, 2 Leman Russ, Squad Fang, Squad Talon, behind them is a Chimera containing veteran Squad Vicious, Vim Ajax, and Balto Krudditch, next is the  Heavy bolter Weapons Team, Revs Cantalope, the Chimera containing veteran squad Cutter and Chuck Nimrod, out of picture is the Autocannon heavy weapons team and the special weapons squad.

In this pic my Hellhound and flamer squad can be seen to the left of the ruins.

Tactical Objective 4 smack bang in the middle of the battlefield.

Tactical Objective 2 is crawling with cultists.

Tactical Objective 6.

Tactical Objective 1
My Tactical Objectives Turn One

The autocannons defend objective 3. A chimera full of veterans smoke fags in the transport area with the windows wound down.

Dylan's Tactical Objectives Turn One. Blood and Guts, Area Denial & Psychological Warfare.
Objective 5 will be ably defended by these two beauties,


After some concentrated tank fire, the Death Guard marines have to walk across the battlefield, as the Chaos Rhino's stereo (and the surrounding chassis) was destroyed.

At the end of my first turn I get two VP's one for First Blood  and 1 for Overwhelming firepower.

The Poxwalkers may be slow but they fully intend to keep meandering across the table with their pox and stuff. The heretic Rhino driver puts on some tunes to amuse his smelly passengers, probably some Grunge, (or Pox Metal).

The Hellhound has taken some scrofulant lascannon shots and still lives. Casting Psychic Barrier on the tank commander prolongs his existence. He also used the strike and shroud  order on himself making him pretty tough for a turn.

The Plagueburst Crawler does horrible things to my Leman Russ on the left, while some infantry ensure I get 2 VP's for defending objective 5.

Filthy Death Guard continue encroaching on Imperial soil, probably soiling it. Dylan has placed a big pile of red dice to denote some sort of Chaos Shrine at the back to give him re-rolls or something.

The flamer squad take objective 1 (no one on either HQ decides it is worth getting during the entire battle so they get rather an easy time of it all game). Sergeant Harker hands out re-rolls like Billy-O, the Tank Commander gives himself re-rolls as he was a bit eager to get to grips with the minions of chaos.

At the end of the death guard turn 1 here are the scores on the doors. 4-2 to the Imperium.

Dylan's orders are sent down via comm links with rickets.
The Death Guard pull a fast one and drop a Lord of Contagion in the Astra Militarum's rear. This is precisely the sort of thing that have given heretic Astartes all over the galaxy a bad name.
At the start of Dylan's turn he pulled all manner of underhand stunts (like the perfectly legal deepstriking of his foul Terminators). Leaving his Lord of Contagion ready to kick the shit out of some poor defenseless autocannon operatives. The rest of his Terminator contingent landing to the west of my Leman Russ by objective 5. The Plagueburst Crawler and Terminators opened up, but by happy chance he targeted two separate Leman Russ leaving both in bad shape but not destroyed.


Dylan's objectives Blood & Guts, Master Of The Warp and No Prisoners.

 High Command send down some new orders, kill a witch, kill something with a tank and scare some Death Guard. The first two are achievable but the third highly unlikely. 

Vim Ajax carefully moves into Smite range of Sivar Rotlung but with plenty of distance to make sure combat with him was an unlikely event. 
 The following turn saw the Vengence For Cadia! strategem being used which just about (and I mean only just about) got rid of the Terminators. One the other side of the battlefield the Lord Of Contagion failed his assault roll and a combination of veterans with meltaguns, Smite, autocannons and the trusty lasgun failed to kill it. In an act of desperation the Chimera crew were ordered to sacrifice themselves by driving over said character. This was very nearly a bad plan as Sivar Rotlung almost destroyed it in one turn.
Two Leman Russ, a Chimera, a veteran squad with plasma guns and a unit of infantry aided by the Vengeance For Cadia! strategem barely manage to get rid of the Terminators.

Because no one in the veteran squad wanted any part of a hand to hand encounter with Sivar Rotlung, the Chimera drew the short straw and got distraction duty.

At some point in turn 3 it's evens Stevens with 5-5. Got some pretty banged up tanks though.

Some blurry Poxwalkers and a couple of Death Guard think they can hide from Imperial shells.

The cultists lurk, accompanied by the Malignant Plaguecaster Kryptus Fowl. The fact that he's at the back must mean he's chicken! 

The last ratling in his squad goes into stealth mode, hoping to survive the battle.

The Chimera backs away from the Nurgle general allowing the veterans and heavy weapons to do their thing. Sergeant Harker probably said something like "On my command, unleash hell!", and to be fair they did.

Killing the general, and destroying something with a tank got my VPs up. This pic was taken at the very start of turn 4 so it is a wee bit misleading.

Vim Ajax smugly waves his stick at Sergeant Harker telling him to shoot something else.
There follows an unphotographed interlude where things took a turn for the worse when the Death Guard hikers got into combat with my vets. I lost both Leman Russ to the Plagueburst Crawler and various other noisome weaponry. On the plus side tank Commander Revs Cantalope killed the Hellbrute (the Predator was a distant memory too). The flamer squad sat on their objective all game without taken a single casualty and thereby earning the enmity of most of the other infantry.

Blood and Guts, Master Of The Warp and Death March were Dylan's last tactical objectives.

The Death Guard give my vets some ceramite tipped boots in the face.
Dylan pulled a few stunts gaining him VPs like nobody's business. Dylan's evil machinations although wicked and cunning were not (luckily for me) perfect, he had forgotten to move his Plaguecaster to within Smite range of my lone ratling scoring me Linebreaker. Various tactical objectives were achieved in the last turn creating an unusual result. A draw.

The final score 14:14! Dylan's fancy footwork scores the draw. Or mine. Or both of us. Basically we did as well as each other.

Four veterans are saved by the bell and get to slink of the battlefield with little more than a chesty cough. Of course Astra Militarum regulations means it's a wire brush and Dettol® all over body scrub as part of the debriefing.

Conclusions

This was one of those games where my big guns did well but the Death Guard's resilience got old very quickly. I can't decide whether my Ratling ploy was good or bad tactically. It made the Hellbrute divert towards it for a turn giving me another round of shooting against it, but the unit very nearly got wiped out and would have ultimately lost me the game. I had allowed the Death Guard general to nip in round my rear and vary nearly paid the price in guardsman entrails. I was lucky with his combat against the Chimera as he very nearly wrecked it leaving me with a lot of very worried veterans. My star performer was sergeant Harker for his rerolling 1's ability. Probably the tank commander got second place and my least favourite enemy unit, was the Plagueburst Crawler. The Vengeance for Cadia! strategem helped me see off the Terminators, and Dylan pointed out after the game he had forgotten to remember the Death to the False Emperor! rule. It probably wasn't game changing but might have killed a couple more overly muscled PDF troopers. All things considered a draw was probably the evenest result possible.

In terms of the narrative, a draw fits nicely as plenty of troops were expended but the command structure of this force was left intact. As neither army was defeated it is entirely possible that Sivar Rotlung was teleported  back onto his battle barge as a fail-safe device on his suit. Balto Krudditch, will of course order some vats of industrial strength hand sanitiser and put his medical staff on measles watch. The other thing he will do is to order more expendable troops.


A serene battlefield before the horrible soldier start messing it up.



Part of my set up and my legs.

The other part of my set up. Note my legs have gone.

The hide behind some ruins ploy enabled me to squeeze my ratlings into the extreme right of the picture (Dylan's deployment zone).

Plagueburst Crawlers are horrible things and should be banned!

As the day drew to a close, both armies unable to score a decisive defeat on their opponent, disengaged. A vox message had come from the Chimera stating that the large Terminator (presumably the enemy leader) was dead but his body was unable to be located. Balto Krudditch thought to himself, they probably don't want to find the diseased corpse more likely. He couldn't blame them, fighting against such debased humans was a terrifying prospect. He gave orders to his flamer squad to burn all enemy bodies and sadly do the same to his own men. With the followers of the ruinous powers nothing could be left to chance. All that was left for him to do was start filling in the report for Thatcher Magz, the planetary governor and complete  the requisition forms for more troops. Balto had a felling he would be needing them.....



1. The only time one (1) vox caster has a use is when you use the strategem Fire On My Position! I rarely remember to use this strategem. 

Thanks for reading!
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